Friday, July 23, 2010

Utah Summer Games 2010

I am a month late in posting about the Summer Games, but I suppose better late than never! I can't begin to put into words how proud I am of my gals. Each of them worked very hard in the months preceding the show, to set personal goals, and make a plan to achieve those goals.
The weather was great, the organization was great, and the judge, Marlo Vivenzio(a current L Program Participant), put everyone at ease, even those with horses who were a little nervous.
I don't have all the pictures in yet, but I will post a few that I do have to the pictures page.
Karen has made the full switchover from western to dressage, having just bought a dressage saddle, half chaps and paddock boots, and breeches, in May. It's a big change to have to re-learn the seat, position, and aids, when the saddle changes so drastically. But it has been a great transformation, she and Tanner look fantastic together. Karen improved her score, and had to demonstrate her horsemanship and tact, because Tanner was not his usual go along, get along self this day. Even with her making the wise and quick decision to trot through the entire left canter portion of her test, she still managed a very respectable 58.6 on Training Test 2. That is amazing considering this choice meant she had three 0s to over come. But Tanner's "8" gaits came through, and he remained much more reliably on the bit for her than he ever has before. Believe me, I know, this is not an easy horse to keep going forward onto the bit, there is just a lot of real estate to get packaged!
Brenda rode Cookie(Poetic Justice is her real name) in her third show. Cookie is just three, but has a super work ethic and beautiful conformation and gaits. Brenda earned a 69% on Intro B, and a 71.3% on Training Test 1.
Sarah rode in only her second show ever, but looked like she'd been doing it all her life. She waltzed into the ring with a mere 10 minutes warmup and knocked out a 66% on Intro B with her amazing Arabian, Daz(Beau Dazzler).
Jenny and Brendijs improved their scores in First level drastically from the May show, with a 71.3% on First level test 1, and a 70.6% on First level test 2. The difference from May 1 to June 25 in Brendijs' balance and gaits was remarkable. Jenny worked very hard with me to bring out the best in this talented horse.
Linda capitalized on Master's high level of obedience and rode two extremely accurate tests, earning a 69.210% on First level Test 4, and a 67.020% on Second level Test 2. Linda and Jenny are of course always the most impeccably turned out riders at any show.
I was also very happy with the horses I rode. Marit, at just her second show, first away from home, made me very proud, bettering her scores from the May 1 show by about 1% each, on both Training level Tests 1 and 2, earning a 65 and a 68 respectively. She was the first horse in the ring at 7am, and understandably tense, so, all in all, I am really happy that she remembered her training and behaved very well for me. I rode a second Norwegian Fjord, named Rethel, that is owned by Lisa Pedersen, in the show. I had one ride on him the day before the show, but this horse has "been there, done that", and had no trouble adjusting to what I asked of him. He is an extremely rideable and talented horse. I have become a fan of Fjords, I must admit, they are a lot of horse in a small package. They have the ability to move like a warmblood, and always turn heads. I love this breed, but they do require a rider with some core strength. Rethel turned in fantastic scores, and in fact we were Open High Point together, with a 71.1% and a 71.3% on Training level Tests 1 & 2. I also rode Sarah's horse, Daz, in First level Test 4. He is such a SHOW HORSE, loves to show off and was really "up" for me. What a fun horse to ride. We earned a 69.211%. A horse like this, who can go gangbusters for me, as up and electric as I want him, and then turn around an hour later and quietly carry his very green owner around through a walk/trot test, is a rare horse indeed. He is a dream horse for Sarah.
The girls worked hard, and so did their ponies. We had a great time, enjoying each other's company, and that's the most important thing. I think we represented our home barn, Lava Bluffs Equestrian Center, very well indeed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

I am sad to report that my friend Jenny's mare, Jazzy, had to be humanely euthanized this morning, following a 24 hour-long battle with colic. Colic is a very scary word to those of us who love these big, brave, and surprisingly fragile creatures. Of the horses I've mentioned on this blog, four have suffered serious colics, and two died. The reasons tend to remain a mystery, but often, we can point to a recent stress or poor or uneducated care. Jazzy had foaled two months prior, and torsion colic is extremely common in mares within the first four months of foaling, for the obvious reason that their gut had to make room for a baby, and then, must migrate back into a fairly large space. That's the logical reason, but we'll really never know. Daz had been living in a field while leased by a young girl, and was not getting enough food, therefore developing a serious sand colic. His did not require surgery but it was touch and go for a few days. Mystic went too fast to even dream of getting her to a facility, and we will never know why she colicked. And of course my beloved Charisma battled a full torsion for 12 hours before she was on the surgery table. She had just made a two day trip in a trailer, returning to very hot temperatures, and I am fairly sure this caused her a great deal of stress and dehydration. The ensuing complications have been a constant source of stress, not to mention expense, nonetheless, I am thankful for each new day with her. I will never forget the morning I saw the sunrise reflected in her eyes as she nuzzled my foot to wake me, and I knew she'd live. Worth every second of stress, every night spent in a lawn chair outside an ICU stall, and every penny, but no place for the weary heart to tread, that is for sure. Surgery doesn't guarantee success, and, the complications can be endless and costly. Ten months later, I still have many a sleepless night and heart stopping episode to go through, as her body continues to sort out the internal changes. I pray to get her to the "magic" 12 months post-surgery, supposedly the point of proof that your horse is now no more likely to colic than any other horse-not much consolation actually. Weigh it all out, friends, and do what your heart tells you. We will all miss Jazzy very much, but we all, those of us who knew her, knew that surgery was not an option for her, and I have deep admiration and respect for my friend Jenny, who made a very difficult decision to free her mare from pain. Jenny provided love and good care to this OTTB rescue, and, thankfully, will get to go forward with her stunning son, Fabulux, by Rulon(Arthos). My thoughts are with you Jenny, and still with you Kayla. For those interested, here is a super article discussing the different types of colic, and has valuable information for what to do.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Number 1 in the US!!

Well for now anyway :)
Charisma is currently ranked number one, USDF All-Breed Awards, for the International Sporthorse Registry/Oldenburg N.A.'s Open Second Level Division. More than likely, she will be edged out as more horses qualify through the show season. So, we will revel in this short moment of glory!